There’s chocolate cake and then there’s chocolate cake. The former would be light and airy with the usual ho-hum chocolate flavor, probably made better by adding some kind of frosting or filling. The latter would be heavy, dark and rich with a taste that makes your eyes close when you take a bite.
Then you’d open them and swear you just had a dream about some ridiculous best ever chocolate cake. No dream fellow cake junkies. This is simply the best chocolate cake on the planet! Don’t let the sunken center make you doubt me, it’s supposed to be like that and Nigella lawson said so.
It was Nigella, a long time kitchen hero of mine who came up with this chocolate cake. It’s sort of a mix between a brownie and a pound cake. I think you could bake it longer and take care of the center, but why oh why would you? Hashtag #keepthesquishycenter.
The middle is really dense and chocolatey, but the surface has a sugary crunch to it. After the cake was featured on Food 52, the comment thread lit up with high praise and even some suggestions for tweaks to the recipe. I replaced some of the water with coffee, added cinnamon and called it a day.
Use good dark chocolate and your mission is accomplished!
This cake is best sliced and eaten a day after you bake it. Keep it covered and it becomes sticky like gingerbread. Serve it as it is or warm it up and dollop some whipped cream on top.
Dark Chocolate Cake From Nigella Lawson
- 1 cup salted butter soft at room temperature, 8oz
- 1 2/3 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate melted
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup coffee boiling hot
- 2 tablespoons water
- Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf cake pan and line neatly with parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and well combined, about 3-4 minutes on high speed.
- Add the vanilla to the eggs and then add to the butter mixture.
- Mix well but don't overbeat it, about 2 minutes on medium.
- Using a spatula, fold in the melted chocolate until no light parts of the mixture are visible.
- Combine the flour, cinnamon and baking soda in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the batter along with half of the coffee.
- Fold and then add the remaining coffee and water.
- Fold the rest of the batter together, It'll be quite runny, but that's normal.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Take the cake out of the oven and let cool before slicing.
- Dust with cocoa powder if desired.